How do you say no to a weekend of flight via Philippine Airlines and 5-star accommodation, gastronomical pleasure and pampering via Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu? It was an invitation I just could not resist.
Philippine Airlines, which is re-introducing its daily Cagayan de Oro-Cebu flights, recently flew Mindanaoan.com to the Queen City of the South to experience a specific kind of luxury – one that I could only describe as refreshing for one’s soul, mind and heart. It was a short but smooth and comfortable flight, the kind that you can only expect with the country’s flag carrier. I even checked-in online via PAL’s website. Quick and easy.
After we touched down at the Mactan Cebu International Airport, it didn’t take long for a smiling Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu employee to meet and assist me. Twenty minutes later, I finally set foot at the gorgeous Mediterranean-style Movenpick lobby. It wasn’t my first time in the hotel but things have changed drastically since their Php 600M renovation. The 245-room Movenpick Cebu now has a breezier, lighter look.
Check-in was fast and efficient – which was what I needed because I was raring to go and hit the gym. Alas, my initial plan of leaving my things and then quickly changing into gym attire got terribly delayed – all because of the breathtaking view from my well-appointed 15th floor Deluxe Room. It had a vast, most beautiful 180-degree view of the sea. Lovely, just lovely!
The gym, by the way, is a must-visit for health buffs. Complete facilities, friendly staff.
The next 3 days meant a flurry of events – from exclusive, delicious dining at The Sails, where breakfast and interactive buffets are served, relaxing massages at Spa Del Mar, where I thoroughly enjoyed my foot reflexology session (can I also just say that they serve good ginger tea?), a tour of the Php 150,000 per night Ibiza Loft Suite, an authentic Balearic style 14-course Churrasco dining experience at the Ibiza Beach Club, a regular dose of Movenpick’s world-famous ice cream (flown directly from Switzerland), entertaining nightly live shows at Ibiza and, of course, meeting the man behind the award-winning Manny O wines, Mr. Manny Osmeña. Not only did he give us a tour inside his own private wine cellar and teach us Wine 101 (degustation and wine pairing) at the Conservatory of the Ibiza Beach Club, but he regaled us with beautiful, heartfelt stories about his passion not only for wines but for helping the needy as well. This, I have to say – if you’re given the chance to meet the man, grab it. He’s smart, hardworking, well-traveled and quite a character. Awesome guy.
It’s been quite a busy summer for me and that recent Cebu trip was just what I needed. It was like a reset button for my soul. Much thanks to Philippine Airlines and Movenpick.
Note: This same post got published on Gold Star Daily, May 25, 2015. Gold Star Daily is Mindanao’s largest newspaper. Mindanaoan.com writes a weekly column (comes out every Friday) dubbed “Mindanaoan Meets World.” The column appears in the Urban Life pages.